Donald Trump revealed several more administration picks today; and while there will undoubtedly be plenty of discussion of the others, one might just slip through the cracks without any discussions of the skeleton in her closet.
The president-elect named WWE bigwig, Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration, citing her experience together with husband Vince McMahon in turning the WWE into a billion-dollar business.
What no one has so far mentioned about Mrs. McMahon is that in 2010, following the lurid murder/ suicide scandal of Canadian WWE star Claude Benoit, she was called to testify before Congress on the topic of rampant steroid abuse within that enterprise. Benoit had taken his life after murdering his wife and children.
Steroid distribution was not even illegal until 1988. In 1991 steroids were officially classified as “controlled substances.” Nevertheless, use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs continued to be rampant in the WWE, and all roads seemed to lead to Vince McMahon who was caught in the snare set by the feds for one Dr. Zahorian who supplied McMahon’s stable of ‘athletes’ with their drugs.
Due to “sloppy procedural errors,” the case against McMahon was dismissed.
Then, in 2010, following an unsuccessful Senate run by Linda McMahon, a 1991 memo from Linda to the other execs at Titan Sports (parent of WWE) turned up, which suggested a tip-off may have occurred when her husband was under investigation:
“Although you and I discussed before about continuing to have Zahorian at our events as the doctor on call, I think that is now not a good idea…Vince agreed, and would like for you to call Zahorian and to tell him not to come to any more of our events and to also clue him in on any action that the Justice Department is thinking of taking.”
The story is lengthy and baroque, but well worth a read. The long and the short of it is that the feds have never been able to hold either McMahon accountable, thanks in part to the long reach of their gold-plated associations.
My interest in the McMahons dates to a single year in my own amateur body-building competitive “career” back in 1991(?) Vince McMahon was the chairman of the amateur division of the IFBB. Having won the regional title in Burlington, I came under the wing of the regional chair (who will remain nameless) and had the opportunity to compete in nationals down in Orlando. As I was truly a natural I knew I didn’t have the chance of a snowball in hell of even placing, but went just for the experience…which did not disappoint, let me tell you.
It was very WWF, complete with “trophy girls” in spike heels, big hair and spangled bikinis. The audience looked like it had descended from a region of outer space somewhere near Vegas. It was as much of a spectacle as anything that took place on stage. No one smiled or spoke backstage and there was none of the camaraderie one encountered at regional events.
I remember going to breakfast in the dining room of the motel where we were all staying and seeing Vince McMahon and what looked like a bodyguard of bouncer/mobsters wolfing down waffles and eggs with a steely, unwelcoming look on their faces.
Of course, by then my regional chair had regaled me extensively on the steroid story, even subtly hinting that I might want to try it myself. It was well known back then that ‘everyone’ in the IFBB, was using and that it was actually encouraged in order to exploit the entertainment value of freakishly overdeveloped bodies.
Even the amateur women were doing it, as I discovered when I walked into the waiting room at sign-in. These gals bore no resemblance to the amateurs I had competed against at home.
“Scary,” I thought, soon after abandoning any thought of continuing with bodybuilding.
Steroid use in the IFBB was simply a given, and McMahon and his goons were the very picture of an underworld vibe. As little as I ever cared for wrestling, I was certainly intrigued when the WWF took off and the McMahons became a freak show for the whole world to observe.
I guess the point of this stroll down memory lane is just to say that Linds McMahon’s chops as a “small business” entrepreneur were built on exploitation of illegal drug use and a generally very shady past.
I wonder how long it will take the media to unwrap this pungent package of poo?